Retired ESL Teacher, Affordable Housing Resident and Disabled Single Parent
Fifteen years ago, Cindy and her daughter packaged up their belongings and headed West from Kansas on a new adventure. Their destination was Del Mar.
Cindy had just finished her Masters degree in Education and was excited to start a new teaching career in a new location. They were fortunate to find an apartment close to several elementary schools. It was wonderful for both her and her daughter to go to school, work and live in one area. The only problem for her as a single mother was the extremely high price of rent in this area. Cindy learned quickly that “she wasn’t in Kansas anymore.”
Times got a lot tougher for Cindy about 18 months after arriving in California. She suffered her second massive heart attack. This was the beginning of some very difficult times both mentally and financially for them. After her diagnoses she was required to take a leave of absence and when her health improved, she was only released for duty as a substitute teacher. This meant a very large cut in pay and additional stress.
Cindy had done some investigating into affordable housing and other state benefits. She learned about getting on waitlists; applying for Healthy Families for her daughter and other help that they might qualify for. During her search she found a local affordable community and got on the waitlist. She knew that the wait for and an apartment could be two-four years or it could be next week. It all depended on current residents moving out and your name coming up on the list. Their prayers were answered several months later when a phone call came from Windwood Village Apartments in Carmel Valley with a vacancy for them. This would allow them to stay in California and keep them from returning back to Kansas. This move meant they would save $600.00 a month in rent.
Cindy was asked where would she have been if not for the opportunity to live in affordable housing and her reply was, “Finances were tight but we would never had been homeless. First, I would never had let that happen to my daughter. I would have returned to Kansas and settled for life there. Secondly, we had made so many wonderful friends that had offered to help since my health had been compromised; we would have had a few options there.”
Living in affordable housing gave “us a safe, clean, and modern place to call home. I would never had been able to afforded to live in that nice of place and provide for my daughter.” By cutting her rent in half, she was able to eventually buy a dependable used vehicle, enroll her daughter in soccer and to pay bills with less stress.
“Affordable housing changed our lives for the better. I am thankful every day that I was given the opportunity to be part of my community. “